KUALA LUMPUR, May 8 — PKR President Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today said that the country’s judiciary has been abused and used by powerful people to escape from punishment and that the public’s trust in the system is eroding.
“Our judiciary looks lame. When we were in power, we put a new Chief Judge to try to avoid interference from outside and strengthen the judiciary so they don’t have to listen to the whims of the Prime Minister or politicians.
“But since judicial interference had been going on for a while the bad perception towards the judiciary was evident. Now there are reform attempts in the judiciary, but some leaders want to fight corruption while others don’t want to and maintain their hold on those in the judiciary.
“These people are corrupting the system and we in Keadilan feel cleaning up the Judiciary is one of the topmost priorities the country desperately needs,” Anwar said today during the launch of the Gerakan Keadilan Convention in Kuala Lumpur today.
Anwar was alluding to the recent investigations into, at the time, High Court Judge Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, who had heard and delivered a guilty verdict in the High Court against former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak over the misappropriation of RM42 million of SRC International funds.
The judge has since been elevated to be a Court of Appeal judge.
Following the High Court’s July 2020 decision, the Court of Appeal’s three-judge panel on December 8, 2021 also unanimously upheld Najib’s conviction, fine and jail sentencing.
Then on April 20, an article by blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin on the blog Malaysia Today carried the title “Judge Mohd Nazlan being investigated for unexplained RM1 million in his bank account”.
The judiciary via the Office of the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court said Nazlan deemed the article as malicious in intent and filled with baseless claims.
A police report was then made against Nazlan and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) then decided to probe him which brought heavy criticism from NGOs, human rights groups and from most of the Opposition bloc as well as the Malaysian Bar.
They condemned the move calling it intimidation, selective persecution and an attempt to sully the judicial system following Najib’s conviction.
“That’s why I want to stand up and fight for this reformation and make the judiciary free. People can see the effects. When those involved in huge corruption cases like 1MDB can get away or attack the institution whereas the common man has no protection,” Anwar added.
“We must be brave to protect the judiciary and push the old ways. It’s still prevalent now. Look at cases overseas in New York for example. Roger Ng and his mates are being prosecuted for embezzling hundreds of million of ringgit but in Malaysia, not enough is done to prosecute the guilty.
“The MACC and police investigations must also be reformed and I can tell you confidently none of those in Keadilan will ever condone this type of behaviour towards the enforcement agencies and judiciary.”
The MACC has insisted they have the power to investigate anyone once a police report is made.